Monday, December 10, 2012

Mast Head Cactus

Eliminate birds from roosting at the mast head by installing some mast head cactus. Commercial products are available at the hardware store but the handy can construct their own by threading seizing wire through a cork coaster and then twist the spikes into a supporting structure. Glue into place with a blob of silicone. The hardest part will be installing. For that a trip up the mast by the skilled will be needed.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Steering Compass Deviation

It is important to keep areas around the steering compass and autopilot free of magnetic influence. Items containing speakers or tools containing magnetic materials should be stored well away from the binnacle. Caution ! Cup holders by the binnacle should never be used as a hand held VHF holder.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sextant Sun Filter Modification

A sextant's Sun shade can be replaced or modified by fitting a piece of mylar solar film to the filter frame. Trace around the filter frame onto an index card to create a template that is then used to cut the mylar film to size. Use silicone adhesive applied to shade frame to attach the mylar solar film to the shade frame. The result produces a well filtered sharp Sun with no distortion or refraction.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mousing The Bow Roller

Bow rollers without bails need mousing of the anchor rhode to prevent chaff and hopping off the roller. Pictured is a figure eight mousing of a bow roller. An all chain tackle should be moused as well even if a snubber is in place.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flieger Watch Face

The Flieger watch face as seen on the Seiko 5 is an excellent analog style for precise low light timing to the second. Best results are obtained by recording seconds first then minutes of time. Give the Flieger analog a go on the next time, speed, distance, and ETA calculation.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Manual Hand Drill

The hand drill offers a manual option for drilling into many materials found onboard. The Stanley has a metal gear and holds up to higher torques. The Fiskars is more ergonomic and will not pinch the fingers but does have the downside of plastic gears which will not be strong enough for higher torque applications. Both the Stanley and Fiskars drill nicely through aluminum. Using a sharp cobalt drill bit is an easy way to improve the drilling performance. So consider the manual drill the next time drilling and tapping is needed on the mast or boom.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Fine Navigation Pencil

Laying down a track with a Pentel P207 mechanical pencil is a fine smooth experience for the navigator. The Pentel P207 tip is perfect for sliding along a straight edge and the 0.7 mm lead is fine yet won't dig into the chart. Use Pentel AIN/AIN STEIN replacement leads to insure best fit and smoothest line.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Helix Angle & Circle Maker

The Helix angle and circle maker doubles as a compass rose anywhere on a chart or plotting sheet. A great plotting tool for small chart tables and for cockpit navigation.